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Andrew Fiala, Payson High School physics teacher, and his student Jon Wisner discuss how the various machines Wisner built dispersed chocolate to fellow classmates.

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Students work on turning ideas into machines

“OK, Chocolate Man, let’s see what you’ve got,” says physics teacher Andrew Fiala. High school students in Fiala’s class eagerly crowd around Jonathan Wisner’s machine. They can see it has enough chocolate for everyone in the class. Wisner starts the chocolate distribution machine by dropping a weight attached to a string that twirls a peg attached to a bar. At the end of the bar, an extra-large nut bangs into the piece of chocolate, knocking it down a chute and into the waiting hand of a classmate. Cheers erupt and hands reach out to get their piece of chocolate. “Good job!” says Fiala, “Generally, we think of a fulcrum moving side to side, but this acts as a wheel. You have five machines present and five energy transfers. Cool. You got extra credit.”


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